Olympic-themed Friday Megalinks

Ken from the Fang’s Bites blog with your megalinks on this Friday. With the Olympics in full swing, the Games will be a major theme for the links and the Weekend Viewing Picks. Without further delay, let’s get to your viewing picks.

Weekend Viewing Picks

The Olympics head into its second weekend of action with Michael Phelps going for a potential record of gold medals. On Friday in primetime on NBC, he’ll swim in the 200 meter individual medley for his 7th gold medal in these games. And if he wins tonight, all Phelps will have to do is help his USA teammates swim for the 4 x 100 meter medley relay for his 8th gold medal. NBC’s primetime coverage on Friday begins at 8 p.m. On Saturday night, coverage begins at 7:30 and Sunday, it begins at 7 p.m. You can see the entire TV and online listings over at NBCOlympics.com.

Baseball continues as the pennant races kick into high gear. The Red Sox host Toronto in a weekend series at Fenway. NESN has tonight’s and Saturday’s game at 7 p.m. Sunday’s game starts at 1:35 p.m.

Fox will have three American League games on Saturday, the Angels at Cleveland, Chicago White Sox at Oakland and Seattle at Minnesota, all starting at 3:55 p.m. The regional splits and announcing assignments can be see over here. WGN has the Cubs at Florida both on Saturday (7 p.m.) and Sunday (1 p.m.). TBS’ Sunday baseball game has the Milwaukee Brewers taking on the Dodgers at 4 p.m. And ESPN’s Sunday night game pits the Phillies at San Diego at 8 p.m.

Exhibition football continues this weekend with the NFL Network picking up the Patriots visiting Tampa Bay, Sunday night at 8. WBZ-TV, Channel 4 will simulcast the game in the Boston market only.

Other games on TV this weekend has Fox has the Oakland Raiders at Tennessee Titans tonight at 8. NFL Network carries Brett Favre’s first game as a Jet live as his new team takes on Washington at 7 p.m. Saturday.

The PGA Tour’s final regular season stop before the exciting FedEx Cup playoffs (sarcasm dripping here) is the Wyndham Championship. CBS has weekend coverage beginning at 3 p.m. Saturday.

The LPGA heads north for the Canadian Open. Golf Channel has tape delayed coverage at 9 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday.

NASCAR is in Michigan for both the Nationwide and Sprint Cup series. ESPN2 has the Carfax 250 race, Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ESPN has the 3M Performance 400, Sunday at 2.

And the US Open Series continues with the ATP Tour’s Legg Mason Classic championship match on ESPN2 this Sunday at 5 p.m.

The full listings can be seen at USA Today.

Let’s get to your links.

National

Starting with Michael Hiestand of USA Today, he says NBC finally has gotten its primetime coverage of the Olympics right with plenty of live coverage.

Tripp Mickle of Sports Business Daily/Journal talks with NBC Olympics producer David Neal about his impressions of the Games to date.

The Sports Media Watch blog finds the reviews for the Tiki Barber and Jenna Wolfe-led Olympic Update on MSNBC are not very kind. And the SMW says NBC will not air Michael Phelps’ quest for a possible 8th gold medal live on the West Coast despite rumors to the contrary.

Joseph De Avila of the Wall Street Journal talks with the President and CEO of Major League Baseball Advanced Media which is the most successful of all of the four major sports new media ventures.

It may be summertime, but it’s never too early to think about hockey. Maury Brown in the Biz of Hockey looks at the release of the NHL national TV schedules in the US and Canada.

Christopher Byrne of the Eye on Sports Media blog catches up with Bill Pidto who left ESPN in June after 15 years at the network.

East and Mid-Atlantic

I’ll start this region with Bruce Allen who has his thoughts on noted plagiarist Ron Borges joining WEEI.com. The move is one of the strangest I’ve ever seen.

David Scott goes more in-depth into this crazy move and he has inexplicable reaction from WEEI’s Dennis & Callahan. David first explores the decision by Tony Massarotti to leave the Boston Herald for a role at the Boston Globe’s website.

Joanna Weiss of the Boston Globe says a budding US vs. China rivalry is helping NBC’s Olympic ratings.

Marc Blaudschun of the Globe talks with NBC’s Bob Neumeier who’s in Communist China for the Olympics and he also takes a shot at former employer WEEI.

Now to Neil Best of Newsday who is most likely basking in the glow of seeing a story he broke back in June come to fruition. In today’s newspaper, Neil writes about the end of WFAN’s two decade pairing of Mike & the Mad Dog, with Chris Russo leaving the station yesterday. Neil goes over the history of the show which began in 1989. And here are some memorable moments from the show. Jim Baumbach of Newsday says WFAN will not be the same without Russo. Also from Newsday, Katie Strang says Russo’s departure has polarized listeners.

And Neil has a story totally unrelated to Mike & the Mad Dog. He says the Olympics are an event that has esssentially become group viewing.

Richard Sandomir of the New York Times writes that it’s now Mike without the Mad Dog on WFAN.

Over to the New York Post where Phil Mushnick says for better or worse, Mike & the Mad Dog made radio history. Eric Lenkowitz says WFAN and Chris Russo decided to part ways even though he had a year left on his contract. Mushnick feels sponsors are wearing the viewers out.

Justin Terranova from the Post talks with ESPN’s Ron Jaworski about Brett Favre’s adjustment with the Jets. And Justin has five questions for ESPN’s Fran Fraschilla about the US men’s Olympic basketball team.

The New York Daily News’ Bob Raissman looks into the breakup of Mike & the Mad Dog. Raissman also talks about the rumored move by Chris Russo to Sirius Satellite Radio.

Ken Schott of the Schenectady Gazette also discusses Russo’s leaving WFAN and Ken also gives props to Neil Best.

Ken McMillan of the Hudson Valley Times Herald-Record says the split of Mike & the Mad Dog will draw attention from all over. And Ken talks with ESPN Radio’s Freddie Coleman who was a big fan of Mike & the Mad Dog.

Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer says the Philly-based Comcast is kicking off Big Ten Network programming as of today.

Ray Frager of the Baltimore Sun says NBC is keeping things moving during its primetime coverage of the Olympics.

South

Doug Nye of The State in South Carolina talks about high school football getting more exposure on TV and radio.

One of the bigger stories to break yesterday along with Mike & the Mad Dog splitting up, the moves at the Boston Globe’s sports department and Ron Borges signing with WEEI.com, was CBS signing the longest college sports agreement in history, by agreeing to pick up SEC football and basketball for 15 years beginning next season. Tony Barnhart of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution tells us what this new deal means for college football fans and college sports in general.

Alan Schmadtke of the Orlando Sentinel says the SEC stands to make a lot of money from this new deal with CBS. Jeremy Fowler of the Sentinel says the SEC also wants to finish deals with ESPN and Raycom within the next two weeks.

Jon Solomon of the Birmingham (AL) News says the CBS/SEC deal runs through 2023.

David Brandt of the Jackson (MS) Clarion Ledger says both CBS and the SEC have reasons to crow.

Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald says the Olympics are striking gold with viewers.

Mel Bracht of the Daily Oklahoman says Oklahoma City is ranked 7th of all markets watching the Olympics. Mel lists the top ten markets watching the Olympics. Mel says these Olympics have become the multimedia Games. Among Mel’s sports media notes is CBS’ Tim Brando and Spencer Tillman calling Oklahoma University’s football season opener on pay per view. And Mel has his weekend viewing picks.

Midwest

George M. Thomas of the Akron Beacon Journal says compelling stories are helping to drive the ratings for the Olympics.

Bob Wolfley from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says Michael Phelps’ drive for 8 gold medals has become must see TV.

Shannon Shelton of the Detroit Free Press feels it’s about time that Comcast has brought the Big Ten Network into the fold.

Teddy Greenstein of the Chicago Tribune writes about Michael Wilbon’s singing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” at Wrigley Field this week and the issues it has raised. Teddy lists his five weekend viewing picks.

Ted Cox of the Chicago Daily News talks with sports radio talk show host Dan McNeil.

Paul Christian of the Rochester (MN) Post-Bulletin says college football fans in Minnesota won’t be able to see the Golden Gophers as the Big Ten Network remains off Charter Communications.

Dan Caesar of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says a former sports radio host will continue his wrongful termination suit despite having a judge rule against him this week.

West

Moving to the Western part of the country where many are angry over the fact that NBC is delaying the Olympics in the Mountain and Pacific time zones.

Scott D. Pierce of the Deseret (UT) Morning News says NBC should stop using the “live” graphic during the Olympics when airing its primetime coverage in the West.

Jay Posner of the San Diego Union-Tribune says despite the tape delay, San Diegans are watching the Olympics.

John Maffei in the North County Times writes that West Coast viewers are being cheated by the taped delayed airings of the Olympics.

The Ventura County’s Jim Carlisle says no matter if the Olympics are live or on tape, West Coast viewers are watching.

Steve Springer of the Los Angeles Times writes that NBC is restricting its primetime Olympics coverage to beach volleyball, gymnastics and swimming with some diving thrown in.

Tom Hoffarth in the Los Angeles Daily News talks with NBC Olympics volleyball announcer Paul Sunderland. Tom has a bunch of media notes on the Olympics, baseball and other sports. And Tom says ;NBC will recap the women’s gymnastics all-around competition in the 8:00 hour of tonight’s primetime coverage as it ended at 1 a.m. today while many of you were asleep.

Canada

William Houston of the Toronto Globe and Mail gives his medals to CBC’s Olympic announcers. And Houston says the new TSN2 will be a boon to tennis and hockey fans.

Chris Zelkovich from the Toronto Star scolds CBC for leaving the Cuba-Canada baseball to go to water polo. And Zelkovich praises CBC primetime host Ron MacLean.

There you have it, your supersized Friday megalinks. Have a good weekend.

About Ken Fang

A former award-winning radio reporter, Ken Fang lives in Rhode Island and blogs at Fang's Bites and Fang's Bites at BSMW. You can also follow him on Twitter and Facebook. In addition to sports media, he is addicted to The Amazing Race and Mad Men.

  • Tiffany

    A local New England boy will be standing in Phelps’ way of winning the fly tonight… too bad no one will be rooting for poor Ian Crocker..

  • http://masshysteriasports.blogspot.com/ DaveR

    I agree with Steve Springer: let’s see/hear more of/from the Phelps girls!

  • LL

    Ian is a good Maine boy, but even up here we’re all rooting for Phelps to win… but Crocker to get the silver.

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